The translation by Prof. P S Sastri is the very best one available. Prof. Sastri has also appended highly informative Notes for each shloka, giving illustrations from various horoscopes and other very interesting cross references from Maharshi Parashar, etc.. Discussions of a classic in this manner is a real treat to any reader and kept me absorbed for hours. This book is most unique and a must-buy for any student / practitioner of Astrology. This is perhaps the only classic that clarifies how a planet in debilitation but also at the same time, retrograde, should be treated. The answer - as one in exaltation !
Before we explain what is Astrology or Jyotish we must make it quite clear to the student is that astrology is not an art of fortune-telling as understood. It is on the other hand as much an exact science like physics or chemistry. In fact it is a divine science which has come to us as a gift from the gods. In the ancient India our sages had developed by their untiring spiritual exercises a divine eye (Divya drishti) by which they could see the movements of planets and their effects on human beings. In those days of the past, astrology was a subject which all disciples of a Guru had to learn and it is through this media of instruction that it has come down to us.
Astrology is a branch of Veda (Vedanga) with the ald of which it is possible to know about all the past and future events by considering the position of lagna and planets at birth or at the time of putting a query. Astrology has three broad divisions, namely: Siddhanta, Samhita and Hora. Siddhanta deals with the astronomical side of the science, Sumhila with the world events and Horse with horoscope of human and animale objects.
According to tradition, our sages who, with the strength of their spiritual powers, were able to have direct contact with our creator Lord Brahma, were initiated by the Lord into divine science. Then the sages propagated these for the benefit of humanity. What at present we have in our Hindu astrology we owe entirely